Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) is moving forward with another ethylene cracker project with Qatar Petroleum, this time on the US Gulf Coast. At a signing ceremony held at the White House, CPChem CEO Mark Lashier and Qatar Petroleum CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi inked an agreement to pursue the $8 billion petrochemical complex. To be owned 51% by CPChem, it would have a 2-million-metric-ton-per-year ethylene cracker and two 1-million-metric-ton-per-year polyethylene plants. The companies expect to make a final investment decision by 2021 and start up the complex in 2024. Just last month, the two companies announced they would build a nearly identical petrochemical joint venture in Qatar by 2025. “The proposed US project is part of a trend of Middle Eastern oil companies looking to diversify across regions and expand their footprint in the growing chemicals industry,” says John Maselli, senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie. Similarly, ExxonMobil and Sabic are planning an ethylene cracker complex near Corpus Christi, Texas, to complement their joint ventures in Saudi Arabia. Separately, CPChem is reportedly bidding to buy Canadian chemical producer Nova Chemicals.